Why I Call Myself a "Democrat"
What does it mean to be a Democrat?
I just finished reading Peter Taillie’s “Independent Viewpoint” in the Sunday Star and my blood pressure just about blew the blood pressure cuff right off my arm. I am a life-long Democrat, and what is now referred to as a “Progressive Liberal.” Peter says he is a, “recovering liberal” using terminology that typically describes someone suffering from the disease of addiction. I’m sorry, but being a proud member of the Democratic Party is not a disease, far from it, it is a compassionate approach to the disease called greed and corruption visited on our country by individuals who put self-interest ahead of all else, profits ahead of people. It is the solution to the problem, a cure for the disease, not the disease itself.
Peter says that “Independents share some ideas.” That’s rich, because “Independents” by their very definition have very little in common with each other unless you include their hatred (mutual disgust in Peter’s terms) for the two major parties, and glory in their “Independence” above all else. He further describes ALL Democrats, and ALL Republicans as “bodies of bloviators who regularly regurgitate the ideology of special interest groups.” He paints us all with the same brush completely ignoring the fact that the “special interest groups” each party represents are completely different; polluters on one side, environmentalists on the other; fossil fuel corporations on one side, clean, renewable energy on the other; pharmaceutical companies on one side, consumers on the other; corporate profits on one side, workers on the other; credit card companies on one side, customers on the other; gun manufacturers on one side, safety advocates on the other. I could go on… It’s not “special interest groups” that are the problem, it’s what interests these groups support, and the winners and losers on each side.
“Stagnant, inbred, fear-ridden, money-driven agendas” are attributed to the two-party system, the “status-quo” as some view it, and no, it’s not perfect, and yes it needs constant review and reform, but with the vast majority of legislators in both houses of Congress from one of the two major parties, and the executive branch taking turns with first one then the other party, and the judicial branch supposedly non-partisan but also equally divided between the two major parties, how does he suppose David has a chance to impose his Independent views on the Goliath that we call the Government? Tilting at windmills in my estimation.
I don’t have time here to outline the primary reason I am a Democrat, but I will say this. Take the time to review the Democratic Party Platform for the 2016 Presidential Election. If you lack the time and inclination to read the entire document (it’s 45 pages long), Google it and read the Table of Contents. It’s only three and a half pages long and outlines the areas of focus. Then look at President Obama’s legacy, his accomplishments over the last eight years, eight years of the most blatant obstruction from the other party. You will notice something quite interesting. Of the many items listed, guidelines, not mandates for the new President, he addressed almost every one with legislation, judicial action, or executive action, Presidential leadership that changed the lives of workers, seniors, exploited children, veterans, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants, and citizens who drive the highways over the bridges and through the tunnels, citizens who breath the air, drink the water, pay their taxes, live in affordable housing, have decent jobs with a living wage, and go to sleep every night not worrying about losing everything if they get sick, or get hurt, or have an unwanted pregnancy, or have a gun-wielding terrorist running down their street shooting guns and exploding bombs in the corner market. Despite all the hoopla about the “carnage” in our country, there is no safer place on earth and thanks goes to the balance, the daily struggle between the two major parties.
Democrats have shared ideologies, they are also called shared beliefs, shared values, and Democrats are willing to work together as a group, because there is nothing more powerful than people power when the ideas we share; for fairness, and equality, and acceptance of those who are different than us; different colors, different races, different cultures, different religions, different sexes are what make us strong as a nation and as a people united.